Tuesday, May 21, 2024

A Letter to My Daughters and Yours…

March 17, 2009 by  
Filed under News, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.com) Dear Girls,

*Rihanna has apparently gone back to Chris Brown and is also refusing to testify against him in court. I wish her well but I think she’s making a foolish decision in going back to a man who beat her like a dog minutes after he accepted a sexually inviting text message from another woman. Rihanna is showing terrible judgment; I hope you will not follow her example.

My advice is simple: if your boyfriend hits you break up with him. He doesn’t have to punch you over and over again until you’re bleeding and almost unconscious the way Chris Brown (allegedly) did Rihanna. If your boyfriend hits you even once, break up with him. Immediately. There is no excuse and no necessity for a man to hit a woman. Ever. This is especially true for teenagers and young adults. And the experts are right: if a guy hits you once there’s a really good chance that he’ll do it again. What’s worse, he’ll probably blame you for it.

So, I repeat: if your boyfriend hits you, break up with him.

And forget all this silly, insulting mess about Rihanna inviting Chris’ beat down. That girl who told Oprah and Tyra Banks that Chris Brown acted in self-defense was full of crap – particularly since what she described was not self-defense at all, but retribution (an “eye for an eye” so to speak). The circumstances under which a man or teenage boy needs to use violence to defend himself against a woman or girl are so rare that they’re almost inconceivable. The overwhelming majority of domestic and dating violence cases have nothing to do with guys defending themselves. More typically these incidents boil down to guys over-reacting due to a lack of self-control, low self-esteem or, worse yet, a sexist urge to put the woman “in her place.” (This is the same mentality and values system that makes it easy for certain men to casually and consistently refer to women as “bitches” — even women they are supposedly in love with.)

A boyfriend who abuses you may try to make amends. But you should still dump him. He will apologize. He may cry. He may beg for your forgiveness. He’ll probably tell you repeatedly that he loves you. He may offer you an expensive gift. If he’s sincere then accept his apology and extend your forgiveness. But decline the gift and break up with him. Even if he is actually repentant, he still isn’t ready to be anybody’s man. So, your leaving him has nothing to do with a lack of forgiveness or an absence of love. Of course you love him, but that isn’t the point. He’s got issues. Serious, personal issues with anger, self-control, self-esteem, humility or respect. Until he works those out and becomes a different person psychologically and in terms of his behavior then he cannot be with you. Period.

Saying “I’m sorry” is not enough. He needs to commit the time and energy to get himself together. He needs to learn skills for managing his anger appropriately. He needs psychological counseling to take a long, hard look at himself and find out what made him bug out and put his hands on you. And he needs to put the lessons he learns and the skills he develops into practice over an extended period of time.

The last thing I want to tell you is that you should never feel guilty about breaking up with an abusive boyfriend. You haven’t betrayed or abandoned him. He did that to you when he crossed the line into violence.

You are entitled to choose the kind of relationship you want. You are entitled to relationships based on kindness, respect, friendship and shared fun. You do not have to settle for a relationship filled with drama and stress with a man who insults you, makes fun of you, tries to control you, pressures you to do things that you don’t want to do, cheats on you, scares you, threatens you or hits you. That kind of relationship is not love – whether you’re 17, 27, or 77.

The Apostle Paul broke it down in simple yet profound terms: “Love is patient, love is kind.” Remember that. It’s what we should all give to one another and it’s what you deserve.

Thanks for listening. I’m Cameron Turner and that’s my two cents.

Written By Cameron Turner

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